For facilitating the marriage of nearly 4,000 gay couples in his city last year, Gavin Newsom is famous countrywide--and controversial. But at home in San Francisco, the mayor is simply adored. It's the main reason Newsom, 37, who barely squeaked into office in 2003, now enjoys an eye-popping 80% approval rating in America's ultraliberal gay mecca. But it is by no means the only factor. The workaholic millionaire restaurateur has packed more productivity into his first 15 months than many mayors manage in two terms. By diverting welfare payments for the homeless into a housing fund, Newsom's administration has reduced the number of long-term homeless in the city 41% and cut deaths on the street 40%. Health insurance is now guaranteed to every uninsured San Francisco resident under the age of 25 at a cost of $48 a year. Newsom also personally halted a strike at 14 hotels across the city late last year. He stood on the picket lines with unions, though the hotel lobby had written checks to his campaign, before brokering a cooling-off period that still continues. "I'm the first to say that I've no idea what I'm doing," says Newsom. "There's no manual here for how to be mayor." Tip for publishers: sign him up to write one.